Five Critical Planning Points for Cloud and Your Data Center

By: Bill Kleyman| - Leave a comment

Data center utilization continues to grow as organization rely on their IT infrastructure more and more. Today’s systems house critical operations for businesses across the world. Still, a major shift has revolved around the migration, and integration, with various cloud services. We’re extending our data center capabilities and integrating them with cloud systems.

For the organization – this creates greater levels of scalability, and new types of business economics. At first, many organizations started with private cloud technologies. Although virtualization was the big driver behind a private cloud solution – there is a lot more under the engine for today’s modern cloud and data center ecosystem. Whether you’re a small organization or a large one, there are new important concepts to consider when working with cloud and data center technologies.

  1. Your hardware. It absolutely is no longer about just buying a server and putting it into your architecture. Now, you have options around rack-mount, blade chassis, converged, hyper-converged, unified, commodity, and even ultra-converged server systems. Each has a great use-case and each is a wonderful fit for the right type of workload. A major part of your own cloud will revolve around network, storage, compute, and data center. The main difference is the choice that you have. More than ever before, take the time to understand your workloads, how your users and applications interact, and make the best financial as well as technological decision based on those metrics. In some cases, you might even select a piece of hardware based on hypervisor and security recommendations. With that in mind – let’s look at the hypervisor.
  2. Your hypervisor. It’s no longer a VMware world out there. Microsoft has done a great job deploying their hypervisor to directly integrate with the underlying Microsoft OS and support platform. Most of all – new licensing methodologies can actually get you the enterprise Hyper-V hypervisor at no additional costs. That said, working with your hypervisor is absolutely paramount to creating a powerful private and hybrid cloud solution. This means looking closely at policies, VM integration, scalability, how well you can integrate management and security, and how well you can manage your users. Consider this – your hypervisor is the gateway to your cloud platform. Through your hypervisor you present complex workloads to a number of users. Make sure to create a hypervisor environment that’s easier to manage, secure, and most of all scalable.
  3. Your workloads. What are you actually hosting? Is it VDI? Is it strictly application delivery? Maybe you’re just hosting a database serving up an important web application. Two important points here: Know your applications and know your users. These aspects are the foundations to designing your security, VM, hypervisor and even hardware architecture. The delivery of content, data and applications is critical to the success of any business. However, the delivery of these data points cannot hinder the actual user experience. This is where you must create powerful, yet balanced, security and management policies which support business functionality and application delivery.
  4. Your security and management. This is one of the most critical aspects in building out your cloud environment. Your VMs need to be secured – intelligently. In some cases, this means deploying agents to the end-point. In other cases, you can secure your VMs with agentless security technologies. Furthermore, your security and management policies must be able to scale cross-cluster across your own hybrid cloud platform. Through intelligent security and control, you create auditing capabilities, better visibility into VM health, and can focus on effective content delivery. Most of all, you’re able to create a more proactive cloud solution build around performance and scale.
  5. Your future. The evolution of the cloud is absolutely evident in the number of new kinds of technologies designed to support it. Moving forward, you’ll see more data center integration, more workload diversity, an ever-mobile user, and a lot more need for robust security. Furthermore, you’ll see more cloud and data center clusters emerge as your business evolves. Finally, you should always build a cloud environment capable of scaling beyond your own data center walls. This means, should the need arise, integrating your infrastructure with public cloud components and other services.

The overall cloud model will absolutely continue to grow and evolve. This means more workloads, more data points, and a lot more applications. This is all further complicated by an end-user who is embracing new concepts around mobility every day. We’ve seen breaches happen – Sony, Target, and most recently Anthem. Through it all – organizations working with cloud must be vigilant and secure their platforms with best practices involved. Hackers understand that their targets are growing. However, administrators can deploy powerful segmentation and VM isolation policies to ensure that VM traffic is secure. In building your own cloud environment – management and security will some of the most critical points to consider. Ensure that your data center and cloud ecosystem can support your business, grow with the market, and enhance the overall user experience.

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About The Author

Bill Kleyman

CTO at MTM Technologies

Bill is an enthusiastic technologist with experience in datacenter design, management, and deployment. His architecture work includes large virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Bill enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues around everything that is technology. During the day, Bill is the CTO at MTM Technologies, where he interacts with enterprise organizations and helps align IT strategies with direct business goals. Bill’s whitepapers, articles, video blogs and podcasts have been published and referenced on InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Data Center Knowledge, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and many others. Most recently, Bill was ranked #16 in the Onalytica study which reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape, globally.

Articles by Bill Kleyman
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